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Philips Brilliance 200P3 LCD monitor

Review Finally, Affordable Large LCDs?
Sun Mar 30 2003, 12:02
alt='fiirrip' LCDs HAVE already crossed the mainstream usability and affordability barrier, with 17-inch or 18-inch models at SXGA 1280x1024 resolution dropping to high-end CRT levels. While SXGA resolution is fine for most home or office tasks, the temptation of UXGA 1600x1200 is still there - after all, we got to progress constantly, isn't it?

So, for over a year, in fact since Computex 2001, there was a steady increase in the number of 19-inch and 20-inch LCD models coming out of Far East factories, whether it's under big name brands or Taiwan OEMs. And, the increased competition has brought the prices down, already well below US$ 1,400 level! The US$ 1,000 mark is in fact the obvious target - at that point, the 20-inch UXGA LCD is finally within reach for millions of high-end home or office users.

Here is one of the first models bringing affordable, branded large UXGA LCDs to the high-end PC mainstream: Philips Brilliance 200P3, kindly provided to our Asia-Pacific lab editor by Philips Singapore (where many of these are made, in fact).

The looks... Outside, the monitor looks reasonably slim for a 20-inch unit, definitely more compact than the Viewsonic VP201 for instance. The same beige PC colour for the casing as other Philips monitors (matches ALTEC Lansing speakers very well). Philips offers a dark grey version as well (to match other users' speakers, I suppose). The main body of the LCD display is just 4 cm thick, and the bottom of the display still manages to incorporate two more (2 x 2 W) speakers (which you can use as extra front or rear speakers in a surround sound system if you wish).

This 20.1-inch LCD has exactly 100 dpi resolution (0.255 mm dot pitch, 408x306 mm viewing area), a contrast ratio of 300:1, brightness up to 250 cd/m2, a viewing angle beyond 85 deg in all directions, and supports 75 Hz at 1600x1200 in analog mode or 60 Hz in DVI mode, which we used.

Another plus - the AC adapter is integrated, so less cables to mess up the desk. The overall dimensions are 488 x 459 x 220 mm (incl. pedestal) and weight is 10 kg sharp, pretty light for a 20-inch LCD unit. The 52 W declared power consumption is within expectation for this kind of display.

The unit may not be world's best when it comes to tilt & swivel angles, but the capabilities I saw are definitely sufficient: tilt 5 degrees down and 25 degrees up, and swivel up to 175 degrees on either left or right side.

The screen... I connected the Brilliance 200P3 to the usual reference configuration, an Intel i850E-based 3.06 GHz Pentium4 with 512 MB PC1066 RDRAM, Nvidia Quadro4 900XGL and Windows XP Pro SP1 with the newest drivers (Detonator 43.45). The monitor worked fine either with or without installing the Philips drivers. The 1600x1200 UXGA mode in DVI was detected automatically, and I also tried analog mode as well - it also worked well after some adjustments on position and size, but the picture couldn't match the DVI one.

In DVI mode, the screen is extremely sharp, in fact even the thin lines bordering the individual pixels can be seen. The much more expensive IBM 22-inch T221 monitor can of course display a much smoother UXGA mode over its 3840x2400 panel if you want so (no visible pixel borders for instance), but at some 6 times the price...

For lower resolutions, the display supports either window display at native DPI, or auto-resizing (the 800x600 SVGA mode looked perfect, as it is a quarter of UXGA and every 4 pixels get assigned to one).

Overall, a good unit - both DVI and VGA inputs are there, and at the front the microphone and headphones can also be connected. The menu is comprehensive (although a lot of adjustment functions only make sense with VGA input), and extra speakers can be put to use even within your existing speaker system.


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